Beijing: China on Monday reacted guardedly to India's decision to suspend talks with Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty, saying it hopes the two countries can "properly" address disputes and improve ties through dialogue and consultation.
"As a friendly neighbour to both India and Pakistan, China hopes that India and Pakistan can properly address disputes and improve relations through dialogue and consultation, maintain and enhance all-round cooperation and join hands to promote regional peace, stability and development," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI in a written response.
His response came to a question on India's decision to hold the talks between Commissioners of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) only when the atmosphere was free from cross border terrorism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday chaired a review meeting of 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will "exploit to the maximum" the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water sharing pact.
The meeting came as India weighed its options to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack that left 18 soldiers dead, triggering demands that the government scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on that country.
Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six rivers -- Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum -- were to be shared between the two countries.